Sheet Metal Bending tools

Hello,
I have noticed some cheap sheet metal bending brakes for less than $200 floating around. Does anyone have any advice/experience with cheap (a
few hundred bucks) tools for cutting and bending sheet aluminum (less than 0.25inch thick)?
And also how about cheap prototype quantity shops that can do this sort of thing?
thanks, -howy
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howy wrote:

Aluminium is tough to bend. 0.25" ist quite thick and I doubt that any $200 tool will survive bending it.
I am bending 1mm aluminium (1/25th inch) on one of those cheapo $200 breaks similar but more simple than this one:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberC353
and it works fine. I would guess that 2mm, maybe 3mm is about the max it will do without falling apart. Make sure that you have stops if you need prcise bends (this one does not) and that you have various die sizes for complex bends (this one does).
Matthias
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Matthias Melcher wrote:

Harbor Freight also has a 24" brake, which we used on Team Overbot.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberE877
If you don't need the big size, that's a nice little one.
Incidentally, you can't put a right angle bend in 0.25" sheet for most common aluminum alloys. They'll crack. Steel, yes; cold aluminum, no.
This bender, for narrow stock up to 2" x 0.25", will bend mild steel with no problems. It's kind of a pain to set up, and must be anchored to a solid, heavy bench, but one of those was used to make most of our steel brackets. It does both right-angle and roll bends.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber8471
The cheap combo bender/shear/roll things aren't very good, and lack adequate guarding.
                John Nagle
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Thanks guys, This is the kind of info I was looking for.
The 40'' CAPACITY SHEAR, PRESS BRAKE & SLIP ROLL at http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberC353
and this one http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumberA162
look interesting.
I dont want to go this cheap, but for $99... http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber4104
-howy
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